• The Listener
  • North & South
  • Noted
  • RNZ

The Lego Movie 2 is more exuberantly bonkers than its predecessors

Not since the days of Monty Python has such outlandish absurdity and skewed surrealness been so funny. In The Lego Movie (2014), the film-making duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller crafted something visually vivacious and crammed to the hilt with gags.

The charmed pattern continues with The Lego Movie 2 (with Lord and Miller as writers only), which in many ways is more exuberantly bonkers than its predecessors. We’re firmly in the realm of lunacy. A major plot point, for example, is the impending marriage of a glittery-tuxedoed Batman (Will Arnett) and a clump of shapeshifting Duplo blocks (Tiffany Haddish) in a ceremony overseen by an ice-cream cone with the droll voice of Richard Ayoade. Don’t ask, just go with it.

Macro alias: ModuleRenderer

The plot, which you might expect to conform to a basic kid-friendly ideal, ricochets backwards and forwards in time (cue cameos from Doc Brown, Bill & Ted, Tardis and Hot Tub), and swaps between the plastic playworld below and the “real” human beings above.

Lord and Miller’s vision feels true to the promise of Lego itself: anything can be built, anything is possible. The only limits for the animators are coherence and the bounds of imagination, and even that gets broken in some scenes. It’s so brilliant, in fact, we’re almost inclined to forget that it’s all just an advertisement for a Danish toy company.



Video: Warner Bros. Pictures

This article was first published in the April 27, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.